Monday, January 5, 2009

2008 Expectations Revisited

Way back on Aug. 9, I gave you my expectations of the Hokies for the 2008 football season. As you can see, the team met almost all of them:

1. Go Undefeated at Home
This one needs to happen. The Hokies have lost at least one game at home every year since 2001. This time, the schedule is easy enough to make it probably. The Hokies need to regain sense of invincibility at Lane Stadium. It isn't there anymore.

Grade: A+
Tech beat everyone that ventured into Lane Stadium, including a dominant game against Maryland.

2. Have an Offense in the Top 70
The Hokies were ranked No. 100 in total offense in 2007 and No. 99 in 2006. Let's try to work on that.

Grade: F
Despite modest expectations, the offense got even worse. However, it did show signs of life in the last half of the season. Next year there needs to be significant improvement.

3. Have a Defense Ranked in the Top 20
I expect the D to take a step back this year after losing so much talent. But I don't think it will be a step all the way back to 2003.

Grade: A+
Bud could beat your boys with his boys then turn around and beat his boys with your boys.

4. Develop the Young Talent
Don't redshirt Tyrod. Let him continue to improve as a quarterback and leader of the offense. This is Glennon's team, but having Tyrod on the field makes a lot more sense than letting him sit on the bench all year. If Ryan Williams, Dyrell Roberts and other freshman are ready, let them see the field and experience the speed of D1 football.

Grade: B+
Things didn't go according to plan, but Tyrod became "the guy", Darren Evans emerged as a star and Tyrod started trusting the receivers more and more as the year went on.

5. Win in Tallahassee or Miami
I think one of these two games are going to be a loss. But if the Hokies drop both, they will be in serious jeopardy or losing the Coastal.

Grade: F
We did neither, but still won the Coastal thanks to a little help from our friends in Atlanta.

6. Beat UNC and Win the Division
I'm tired of reading about how UNC is ready to start staking its claim under Butch Davis. Is Butchie really that good a coach? We'll find out in Week 4. Crush them, please.

Grade: A+
We beat the Heels and went on to win the division. Carolina suffered injuries and faded down the stretch.

7. Win the Bowl Game
I hate spending the money to travel to these things only to see an unprepared team that used the bowl as a reward get beat by an inferior team (except UGa, they were pretty good that year). There was no excuse for losing to Kansas. If you're going to not give a shit in the bowl, at least tell me in advance so I don't waste my time and money and fly down to Miami.

Grade: A+
The Hokies picked up their first win in a major bowl since 1995 and got the bad taste of the Kansas loss out of their mouths.

Overall Grade: A-
Tech exceeded expectations with a young team, even if the offense regressed.

Tech is filled with optimism going into next season. I hope the team and coaches believe they can compete for a national title, but hope there isn't any hype surrounding this team going into the season. I don't want our 2009 to go like Clemson's 2008.

I also hope the way the season ended re-energizes Beamer and the rest of the coaching staff. I think the constant criticism he and Stiney faced began to wear on him toward the middle of the season.

The Hokies established themselves as the class of the ACC with a third conference title in five years and the league's first BCS winner since January 2000. The hard part will be living up to the expectations the team will face going into next year.